Page images

His mind and taste were cultivated by reading and reflection far beyond the ordinary, and his conversation possessed an engaging charm from its sincerity and gaiety and his wide acquaintance with the best in the literature and art of his own and other countries.

Mr. Daniel's character was an exceptionally fine product of an exceptional period.

The impressionable years of his early boyhood were spent in what it is hardly exaggeration to term the armed camp of a whole people. Courage, self-denial and the widest charity for all forms of suffering and want were virtues daily called for and daily exercised by his people, simply and naturally and as a matter of course. It was among such a people and in the moral atmosphere they breathed that he was reared and educated. To this in some measure is due the lofty simplicity of his character, his broad sympathy and generosity of disposition and his high ideals and the steadfast faith with which he lived up to them.

He was a public-spirited and energetic citizen, an honest, sincere and active Christian, a warm-hearted, loyal and unselfish friend, and, in his family, a devoted son, husband and father; and, in all relations of life, a most kindly gentleman.



Lloyd Thomas Smith, whose death occurred at his home in Heathsville, Virginia, on the afternoon of Tuesday, the twentieth day of December, 1904, was born at Hill Farm, near the foot of the Blue Ridge, in Loudoun County, on the fourteenth day of July, 1845. He was the son of Hugh and Elizabeth J. Smith, and the next youngest of twelve children, six boys and six girls, all of whom, with the exception of two sisters, he survived. For more than three years prior to his death, his health had exhibited unmistakable symptoms of failure; but with a courage that was indomitable, and a self-sacrificing spirit characteristic of his entire life, he continued the active practice of his profession until admonished by his physician, and yielding to the earnest solicitations of family and friends, he laid down his work for the time being and sought in the famous salt baths of Nauheim a cure for his malady. Apparently his health was greatly improved by his sojourn in Germany, and upon his return to his home in October of 1903, he at once resumed the practice of his profession, which he continued thereafter to prosecute with his accustomed zeal and energy to within a short period of his death. Although too unwell to visit his office, he was in consultation with a client, whose urgent business had taken him to his residence, when, with startling suddenness and without immediate premonition—“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”—the dread summons came and his spirit took its flight. Truly he died, as it were, and as he would have wished, with his armor on.

His early education was obtained at the private schools of Middleburg and Alexandria, Virginia, but the breaking out of the war between the States found him attending Mt. St. Mary's College, near Emmettsburg, in the State of Maryland. When scarcely more than sixteen years of age, he laid aside his books, hurried to his Virginia home, and at once joined the forces of the Confederacy, where he faithfully and continuously served until the close of the struggle. The military organization to which he belonged was known as "Ewell's Scouts," and was commanded by the intrepid Captain W. F. Randolph, by whom he was survived, and who, it is believed, still lives on his Louisiana plantation in the full enjoyment of his physical and mental powers and faculties. This command, which won distinction on many battlefields, was successively attached to the headquarters of Generals Ewell, Early, Jackson, Hill and Robert E. Lee, and it is the testimony of its commander that Lloyd Smith bore himself with unfaltering courage upon every field, facing alike cheerfully and bravely the privations of the camp and the almost daily encountered dangers of the firing line. At Chancellorsville, he served as one of Stonewall Jackson's couriers, and as such was riding at the side of that great chieftain when he received the wounds which terminated his glorious career.


The war ended, he entered Georgetown College, in the District of Columbia, where he resumed those academic studies which its outbreak had so rudely interrupted. Having completed his course at Georgetown, he began the study of the law in the office of his brother-in-law, Colonel Larman Chancellor, at Middleburg, in his native county of Loudoun. In the month of June, 1872, he removed to the county of Lancaster. Thither he had been drawn by the tragic death of his army comrade and devoted friend, Philip Smith, who, like himself, had acted as a courier for Jackson on that fateful May day at Chancellorsville. It was in the prosecution of the slayer of this friend and comrade that he made his first appearance at the bar, and it was in the conduct of this, then famous, case that he attracted to himself that favorable public notice which contributed so largely to his subsequently acquired reputation and great forensic and legal triumphs. Having determined to establish himself in Lancaster, upon the death soon thereafter of the venerable Samuel Gresham, the then incumbent of the office, he succeeded to the position of Attorney for the Commonwealth for that county. In 1880 he removed to Heathsville, and, in the autumn of that year, upon the death of the Hon. T. Edwin Betts, was appointed Commonwealth's Attorney for the county of Northumberland, a position to which he was afterwards several times elected, and the duties of which he continued to discharge with scrupulous fidelity and marked ability until the beginning of the year 1904—a period covering more than twenty

three years.

As a citizen, Lloyd Smith early exhibited a deep concern in the affairs of his adopted county, becoming thoroughly identified with its people and their interests. A public-spirited and intensely loyal citizen, his political convictions were deep and earnest, and his patriotic impulses wise, pure and generous. In politics he was an ardent Democrat, and yet he never strove for political preferment, ever placing his party's success above his own, fervently believing that its welfare was equivalent to that of the State. For fourteen years he served continuously as a member of the Democratic State Central Committee, and for most of that period and up to the close of his life, he was the efficient chairman of his party in the First Congressional District. It may be said of him in this connection, that no man ever performed more arduous, faithful and wisely directed party service, and none ever deserved more, or asked less at its hands. For many years his commanding figure was conspicuous in every State convention of his party, and in every hard fought political contest, within the past quarter of a century, his voice was heard upon the hustings in eloquent and powerful advocacy of its principles. He was an influential member of the National Democratic Convention which assembled in the city of Chicago in 1892, and which nominated Cleveland and Stevenson as its Presidential candidates. Amidst the duties of a large and exacting law practice, as well as other activities in which he was frequently engaged, he devoted much time to the subject of education, serving with conspicuous ability for a number of years as a member of the Board of Visitors to the Virginia Military Institute.

But it was as a lawyer that Lloyd Smith was widest known and achieved his greatest successes. As such he stood in the foremost rank of a profession which he greatly loved, and which by him was both honored and adorned. No lawyer ever strove more earnestly to maintain the high dignity of his profession, and none ever lived who was more faithful to its noblest traditions, or who more scrupulously observed its ethics. A perfect courtesy ever marked his bearing to both Bar and Bench. He possessed an extensive knowledge of the law and had acquired in an eminent degree the ability to bring that knowledge to bear, with the well disciplined force of a matured intellect, upon the most intricate and difficult of legal problems. In the preparation of his cases he was careful, diligent and most painstaking. He was moreover an eloquent and forceful advocate, and the charm of his masterful arguments was greatly enhanced by his handsome presence and a voice of great power, clearness and sweetness. His mind was distinctly logical; his reasoning strong, clear and convincing, and withal he possessed the rare gift of perspicuous, luminous expression. But he was much more than a well-read, well-equipped and thoroughly trained lawyer; he was a powerful advocate whose forensic triumphs imparted lustre to the legal profession, and a wise and safe counsellor in whom his large clientage unfailingly reposed confidence.

His whole life was singularly pure and beautiful, his character stainless and his reputation without spot or blemish. At all the courts at which he practiced for almost a generation there was no member of the Bar more universally admired, more highly esteemed and more genuinely beloved. His nature was as gentle as that of a woman, his heart as pure as the unsunned

His reverence for all that was pure and true and noble and good was fervent; his faith sublime and his hope serene. The love he bore the faithful companion who shared for so many years his joys and his sorrows, his triumphs and his disappointments, who tenderly and faithfully ministered to him during the period of his declining health, and who yet survives him, was inexpressibly beautiful. He was the idol of his children and they the precious jewels which crowned his lifea life of rare beauty and exceptional loftiness. Surely the widespread results of a pure and noble life, such as that of Lloyd Thomas Smith, are imperishable.



« PreviousContinue »